The right to life begins at conception. All human beings, at every stage of development, are unique, created in God’s image and shall have an inalienable right to life.
The previous initiative, which lost in the 2011 election, stated it this way:
The term ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.
Some pro-life folks voted NO in 2011 because they thought the proposed amendment condoned cloning. Governor Haley Barbour complained that the wording was confusing. Even though the Governor voted YES, the pro-aborts ran a last-minute robo-call with the audio of Haley Barbour’s concerns. Pro-aborts rode bogus pro-life concerns all the way to victory.
The new language, interestingly (perhaps intentionally?), directly addresses one of Haley Barbour’s statements. He said “I believe that life begins at conception. Unfortunately, this Personhood amendment doesn’t say that”. Well there it is in the new proposal.
Watch out for confused people, such as Wesley J. Smith, who will claim that the initiative’s mention of “created in God’s image” violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. Though written to address Mr. Smith’s complaints about a South Carolina bill, the lower part of this rebuttal also applies to this Mississippi initiative.
Once the Mississippi folks get the necessary signatures, the amendment will go on the ballot, probably in 2015. They need 12% of the number of people who voted in the previous gubernatorial election which is 107,216 valid signatures.